Hello Long Beach! Here are this week’s local news highlights to kick off the week of May 8, 2023.
“Healing Through Community” Resource Fair celebrates Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month
On Friday, May 12, 2023, the city will be hosting “Healing Through Community,” a free mental health resource fair that will be taking place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at MacArthur Park. This resource fair will be celebrated in conjunction with Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month to acknowledge the culture and raise mental health awareness within the community. Attendees can expect free meals from Lee’s Sandwiches, booths that provide information and resources, and drawings for a chance to win prizes. The event will also include entertainment in the form of art, music, and live poetry. “Healing Through Community” is hosted by the Long Beach Health Department in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to increase the accessibility of resources in the city and destigmatize mental health. Learn more here.
“Bike Share for All” Program allows affordable transportation for qualified individuals
For $5 a year, eligible applicants can have a Long Beach Bike Share membership to utilize the city’s bike share system. The program, called “Bike Share for All” allows users to access one of the 800 bikes deployed across the city as a convenient, zero-emission way to travel. Users can locate and borrow a bike by using the Social Bicycles (SoBi) app, and BSFA members without smartphones can receive RFID cards, available upon request during the application process This program is open to people 18 years and older who live, work, or attend school in Long Beach with proof of low-income status. Applicants who are enrolled in programs such as Medi-Cal/Medicaid, SNAP/EBT/CalFresh, or Long Beach Utility Assistance can upload paperwork to the application page and pay the affordable fee online. Learn more here.
Youth ages 13 to 26 now allowed to vote on new summer programs
19 organizations attend the voter fair on May 2, kicking off a 10-day period where youth ages 13 to 26 can vote on summer programs to be funded through Measure US funds. Photo by Tess Kazenoff. (lbbusinessjournal.com)The launch of the first citywide participatory budget will allow young people ages 13 to 26 who reside in Long Beach to be able to have the opportunity to vote on new summer programs. Participatory budgeting allows residents to participate in how to spend public dollars, and in this case, will allow youth to determine how to use $300,000 in funds for the youth projects. Funding can be used on programs involving art, music, mentorship, academic, and/or professional development that are in line with the Youth Strategic Plan. This plan that was launched by the city intends to create positive youth development in Long Beach through the health, well-being, and economic mobility of emerging young adults. Providing young people with the opportunity to have a say in how funds are allocated is beneficial in the long run since they will be the ones determining the success of these programs. Learn more here.
New zoning changes coming to Westside Long Beach
The Santa Fe corridor between Pacific Coast Highway and Wardlow Road and the Willow Street corridor west of the 710 freeway were approved for zoning changes by the city council last week. The plans intend to rezone areas along these corridors so new developments have both residential and commercial components. This proposal is part of the city’s larger plan, known as “Zone In”, to renovate zoning regulations to mold neighborhoods according to the needs of the community. Since these neighborhoods are largely working class due to their proximity to the Port of Long Beach and other industrial areas, the proposed design plans to rezone the area to give residents better access to grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and other amenities that have long been lacking from the area. Learn more here.